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PAYNODE PARTNERS WITH WORLDFIRST TO IMPROVE BANK PAYMENTS FOR BROKERS AND OPERATORS

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Magnus Henriksson, Managing Director, PayNode

PayNode (NBAA Booth C10018), the world’s first online payment platform created for business aviation, is forging a partnership with international payments specialist WorldFirst to improve bank wire transfer payments for charter brokers and operators.

Magnus Henriksson, Managing Director, PayNode

Magnus Henriksson, Managing Director, PayNode

PayNode’s new bank payment solution, being developed with WorldFirst and Multi Service Technology Solutions, will begin beta testing in the fourth quarter of 2017. It will become the third payment option offered by PayNode, whose processing solutions for American Express and AvCard payment cards have been adopted by more than 100 US and European brokers and operators since PayNode’s launch at NBAA 2016.

PayNode’s latest solution will significantly improve the cross-border, cross-currency wire transfer payments that are common in business aviation. It will mitigate foreign exchange risk for brokers and operators receiving payment (‘merchants’); offer competitive exchange rates to payers; enable the high-speed transfer of international and domestic payments into merchants’ bank accounts; and notify merchants that a payment is received so that charter flights can be operated without delay.

The new solution will also improve the handling of same-currency transactions. It will bring full transparency on all costs involved in each transaction to enable efficient decision-making on costings and quotes. It will bring automatic reconciliation to the payment process with instant notifications of when monies are processed. There will also be automatic processing in order for merchants to set the payment for multiple outstanding invoices from one incoming payment, thereby speeding up the payment chain and creating savings for merchants in administrative time and costs.

Magnus Henriksson, PayNode’s Managing Director, says: “We’re delighted to be working with WorldFirst to create a solution that will help brokers and operators take charge of the payment process and run their businesses more profitably, efficiently and with greater confidence.

“We estimate that more than 15% of charter bookings in North America and 25% in Europe involve cross-currency, cross-border bank payments. At present, the delays and costs of receiving these high-value payments are a burden for many business aviation companies. With WorldFirst, PayNode will increase the speed of payments, apply automatic reconciliation and processing, and provide a transparent system that helps protect merchants from wire fraud.”

Alex Arnold, Head of Partnerships at WorldFirst, says: “In business aviation, many companies operate on low margins so it’s vital their financial costs and risks are kept in check. WorldFirst has helped thousands of corporate and individual customers find a better way of managing foreign exchange. We’re excited to be pooling this expertise with PayNode to create a better payment experience for charter brokers and operators.”

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China’s economy could grow 8-9% this year from low base in 2020 – central bank adviser

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China's economy could grow 8-9% this year from low base in 2020 - central bank adviser 1

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s gross domestic product (GDP) could expand 8-9% in 2021 as it continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, Liu Shijin, a policy adviser to the People’s Bank of China, said on Friday.

This speed of recovery would not mean China has returned to a “high-growth” period, said Liu, as it would be from a low base in 2020, when China’s economy grew 2.3%.

Analysts from HSBC this week forecast that China would grow 8.5% this year, leading the global economic recovery from the pandemic.

If 2020 and 2021’s average GDP growth is around 5%, this would be a “not bad” outcome, said Liu, speaking at an online conference.

China is set to release a government work report on March 5 which typically includes a GDP growth target for the year.

Last year’s report did not include one due to uncertainties caused by the coronavirus. Reuters previously reported that 2021’s report will also not set a target.

(Reporting by Gabriel Crossley and Muyu Xu; Editing by Sam Holmes and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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Japan’s January factory output rises for first time in three months, retail sales drop

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Japan's January factory output rises for first time in three months, retail sales drop 2

By Daniel Leussink

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s industrial output rose for the first time in three months in January thanks to a pickup in global demand, in a welcome sign for an economy still looking to shake off the drag of the coronavirus pandemic.

But retail sales, a key gauge of consumer spending, posted their second straight month of declines in January as emergency measures taken in response to the pandemic hit consumption.

Official data released on Friday showed factory output advanced 4.2% in January, boosted by sharp rises in production of electronic parts and general-purpose machinery, as well as a smaller increase in car output.

“Manufacturers will continue to increase output over the near term as long as there won’t be any big shock,” said Taro Saito, executive research fellow at NLI Research Institute.

While economic growth will likely be negative in the first quarter, the strength in manufacturing would offset the negative impact of a state of emergency at home, which is mainly affecting the services sector, he said.

The rise in output, which followed a 1.0% fall the previous month, was largely in line with a 4.0% gain forecast in a Reuters poll of economists. Manufacturers surveyed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) expect output to grow 2.1% in February, followed by a 6.1% decline in March.

The government kept its assessment of industrial production unchanged, saying it was picking up.

Factory output fell in November and December as a rebound in car production ended on sagging global demand, but since then strong demand for tech-making equipment and electronic goods has helped turn the tide.

Still, some analysts worry that Japan’s economic recovery will remain hobbled by weaker conditions at home and as lockdown measures taken around the world to contain the COVID-19 crisis, particularly in Europe, weigh.

The government also released data on Friday showing retail sales fell 2.4% in January compared with the same month a year earlier, in a sign households tightened their purse strings as the coronavirus staged a resurgence.

The fall, which was in line with a 2.6% drop seen by economists in a Reuters poll, was largely due to sharp contractions in general merchandise and fabrics apparel spending. It followed a 0.2% fall in December.

Compared to a month earlier, retail sales in January fell 0.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the third straight month of declines. But the pace of decline was slower than in the previous two months.

“We think consumer spending will only fall around 1% quarter-on-quarter this quarter,” said Tom Learmouth, Japan economist at Capital Economics.

“We expect it to rise fairly strongly over the coming quarters as the recovery resumes and is soon given a shot in the arm by vaccines,” he added.

(Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Sam Holmes and Richard Pullin)

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G20 to pledge support for robust post-COVID recovery, cash for IMF

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G20 to pledge support for robust post-COVID recovery, cash for IMF 3

By Andrea Shalal and Michael Nienaber

WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Reuters) – The world’s financial leaders are likely to pledge on Friday to support a robust global recovery and to boost the International Monetary Fund’s resources so it can help poorer countries fight off the effects of the global health crisis.

Finance ministers and central bank governors of the world’s top 20 economies, called the G20, will hold a video-conference on Friday and the global response to the unprecedented havoc wreaked by the coronavirus on the economy will top the agenda.

Hopes for constructive discussions at the meeting, chaired by Italy, are high among G20 countries because it is the first since Joe Biden, who vowed to rebuild cooperation in international bodies, become U.S. president.

“The ministers will talk about the need for fiscal policies for a swift and robust recovery, because they want to avoid the risk of too early a reduction in fiscal support,” one G20 official said.

The meeting comes as the United States is readying a $1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus and the European Union has jointly put together already more than 3 trillion euros to keep the economy going despite COVID-19 lockdowns.

But despite the large sums, problems with the global rollout of vaccines and the emergence of new variants of the coronavirus mean the future of the recovery remains uncertain.

While the IMF sees the U.S. economy returning to pre-crisis levels already at the end of this year, it may take Europe until the middle of 2022 to reach that point.

The recovery is fragile elsewhere too — factory activity in China grew at the slowest pace in five months in January, hit by a wave of domestic infections, and fourth quarter growth in Japan slowed from the third with new lockdowns clouding the outlook.

“The initially hoped-for V-shaped recovery is now increasingly looking rather more like a long U-shaped recovery. That is why the stabilization measures in almost all G20 states have to be maintained in order to continue supporting the economy,” a second G20 official said.

But while the richest economies can afford to stimulate an economic recovery by borrowing more on the market, poorer ones would benefit from being able to tap credit lines from the IMF — the global lender of last resort.

To give itself more firepower, the Fund proposed last year to increase its war chest by $500 billion in the IMF’s own currency called the Special Drawing Rights (SDR), but the idea was blocked by the then U.S. president, Donald Trump.

The change of administration in Washington on Jan. 20 also changed the prospects for more IMF resources and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen backed the idea in a letter to the G20 on Thursday.

Civil society groups, religious leaders and some Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. Congress have called for a much larger allocation valued at $3 trillion, but sources familiar with the matter said they viewed such a large move as unlikely for now.

The G20 is also likely to agree to extend a suspension of debt servicing for poorest countries by another six months.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and David Lawder in Washington, Michael Nienaber in Berlin and Jan Strupczewski in Brussels; Writing by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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